The media are forever trying to create a division in the Republican Party between those who care most about so-called social issues and those who want priority for fiscal issues. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is the most recent politician to fall into this trap by asserting that the next president "would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues."
The truth is that social and fiscal issues are locked in a political and financial embrace that cannot be pried apart. Those who emphasize runaway government spending and out-of-control debt and deficits must face the fact that those trillions of dollars are being spent by government on social problems.
Those who care about Big Brother's dictatorial intrusions into our daily lives and privacy must come to grips with how and why Big Brother has vastly increased his regulatory power. Government powers, as well as the money in government's hands, have expanded to deal with social problems.
In order to reduce government's size and power, and restore the limited government sought by fiscal conservatives, they simply must address the social issues. It's the breakdown in our culture that has caused millions of Americans to depend on government for their living expenses and for solutions to their personal problems.
In the not-too-distant past, we had a society where husbands and fathers were the providers for their families. The 1.7 million out-of-wedlock babies born last year (41 percent of all births) and their unmarried moms now look to Big Brother as their financial provider.
The decline of marriage is not only the biggest social problem America faces today, but it's also government's biggest financial problem.
It is encouraging that some grassroots groups are now searching for remedies to the marriage problem. A 10-point agenda for rebuilding our society based on traditional marriage has just been articulated by two author-activists, David R. Usher of the Center for Marriage Policy and Mike McManus of Marriage Savers.
Their agenda recommends waiting periods both for marriage and for divorce. The agenda includes replacing our current system of unilateral divorce with permitting divorce based on two methods: mutual consent or necessary dissolution for defined and proven reasons.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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